News of upcoming productions and a selection of our most acclaimed past productions


Photo of Beijing skyline
Photo: Picrazy2

Beijing: Beyond the Masks

Over a year after the Covid-19 pandemic hit the headlines in China, Liyang Liu explores the hidden impacts on people in her home city Beijing. Liyang discovers things have changed in more subtle ways beyond the masks in this mega city of over 20 million people.

BBC World Service: July 2021

Image of a snail
Photo: BBC

Knight Fights Giant Snail

Knights fighting snails, murderous rabbits, mischievous monkeys. The images in medieval margins range from the playful to the bizarre. With Dr Alixe Bovey.

BBC Radio 4

Interviewing an Elfdalian
Photo: Artemisia Gentileschi

Gentileschi’s Revenge

The artist Caroline Walker looks at the life and work of the Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

BBC Radio 3

Photo of President Yoweri Museveni
Photo: BBC

Uganda's Bush War

Alan Kasujja tells the story of the guerrilla war which shaped his country's political system.

BBC World Service

Photo of Charlotte Mew
Photo: The University at Buffalo, New York

Charlotte Mew: The Heart of Hidden Things

Poet Julia Copus explores the writing of the only born and bred Bloomsbury poet Charlotte Mew.

BBC Radio 4

"Mew lives anew… in this magical programme"


Interviewing an Elfdalian
Photo: Björn Rehnström

The Last Elfdalians

A collaboration with Swedish photographer Maja Daniels exploring the mysteries of the endangered forest language which her grandparents speak: Elfdalian.

BBC Radio 3: 20th October 2018


"Magical… Exceptionally beautiful"

5 stars THE TIMES

"Perfect for radio"


Two young men on a beach with surf boards

Islands on the Front Line

Regina Lepping travels around her homeland - the Solomon Islands - to discover how this remote Commonwealth country in the Pacific is on the front line of climate change.

BBC World Service: 23 April 2018

Indian woman mechanic working on a motorcycle

Jobs for the Girls

We meet women in India who are taking on traditionally male jobs.

BBC World Service: 22 November 2016

Abstract painting in acrylic
1990 Synchopation in Acrylic

Blue Canvas: The Artist Miles Davis

Towards the end of his life the jazz trumpeter Miles Davis became a painter. We speak to those who knew him and a never-before-broadcast interview with Davis in his artists' studio.

BBC Radio 4: 6 November 2016

Read more about Miles Davis LISTEN NOW

"This is a masterly essay, the story of how the great jazz trumpeter also became an artist, progressing from sketches to painted canvases that mirror the complexities of his music and the mental tortures of his life…

…just voices and music but exactly the right choice and mix of both by producer Jo Wheeler, a matching of style and subject that made this feature a real radio work of art."


Alan Kasujja visits Uganda
Photo: Media Might/Hawa Mago

The Boda Boda Boom

Alan Kasujja visits Uganda to discover how the boda boda - motorcycle taxi - has become intregral to the social and economic landscape of the country.

BBC World Service: 28th February 2016

Ginsberg with a monkey; Benares India Spring 1963
Photo: Estate of Allen Ginsberg

Ginsberg in India

Following in the footsteps of beat poet Allen Ginsberg, Jeet Thayil retraces his journey through India in the early 1960s.

BBC Radio 3: 18th October 2015

Sarah Lucas
Photo: PA / BBC

Sarah Lucas at the Venice Biennale

With exclusive access to record with Sarah Lucas as she prepares for this year's Venice Biennale we present a rare and intimate radio portrait of one of Britain's most influential artists.

BBC Radio 4: 28th May 2015


"Art sprang to life on Radio 4… Alastair Sooke's excellent documentary about the artist

'Sarah Lucas at the Venice Biennale' brought us very close to Lucas and her work."


Frederic Raphael
Photo: BBC

The Essay: Living Abroad

A new series of Essays by Frederic Raphael in which he explores the theme of exile from home, across five decades living across Europe.

BBC Radio 3: 15-19 December 2014

Anita Rani
Photo: BBC

India's Forgotten War

As part of the BBC's First World War centenary programming, Anita Rani visits Delhi and Punjab to reveal India's overlooked role in the war, and explores the lives of those who volunteered from rural villages to fight thousands of miles away for a cause they knew little about. Historical consultant: Santanu Das.

BBC World Service: 26th October 2014

Kwame Kwei-Armah
Photo: BBC

The Wire: Father, Son And Holy Ghost

Father, Son and Holy Ghost is a new play from award-winning playwright Kwame Kwei-Armah about a young, radical pastor whose rising church career is under threat. Starring David Harewood, Mona Hammond and Joseph Marcell.

Pastor T - a young, funky, self-taught pentecostal minister of an urban church - is well-known for taking no prisoners, and not just in his sermons. His biblical radicalism, youthful energy and street-smart image is attractive to young and old alike, and he has helped build up a thriving church community.

Originally 'saved' from prison life by the church bishop, Pastor T is next in line to take over when the older man retires. The pastor suspects the bishop of financial misdealings, putting his conflicting loyalties to the test. And when one of Pastor T's young church pupils is threatened on the street, he takes some radical action which threatens his future at the church.

Other cast includes: Charles Mnene, Colin McFarlane and Ben Onwukwe, with sound by Alisdair McGregor and Howard Jaques. Music from the CK Gospel Choir. Produced and Directed by Jo Wheeler.

BBC Radio 3: 20 October 2012

"…tough but brilliant"


"The director (Jo Wheeler) should win a Sony"


Music Weekly podcast: Little Dragon

Little Dragon's Yukimi Nagano on playing with Gorillaz and their new album; music from Zomby, Little Roy and Washed Out; plus Jude Rogers and Rob Fitzpatrick discuss the Mercury prize shortlist. Presented by Alexis Petridis. - 22 July 2011

International Atomic Energy Agency

Atomic States

BBC Environment correspondent Richard Black presents a two-part series exploring the history and likely future of the nuclear energy industry.

In part one he explores how it all began and why we ended up going with the nuclear technology we did. After President Eisenhower's 'Atoms for Peace' speech the race for safe, commercial nuclear energy took off on a global scale, but did the first atomic nations develop the best and safest technologies possible, or have they left the world with a ticking bomb?

In part two Richard compares how two very different nations are approaching the nuclear landscape in the wake of Fukushima: Germany and the United Arab Emirates. We report on how Germany's nuclear policy plays out over the coming weeks as Chancellor Angela Merkel calls for an end to nuclear energy in Germany. By contrast Richard visits the UEA as its prepares to go nuclear with enthusiasm and optimism for the role of atomic power in a modern, hi-tech Middle East.

BBC World Service: 11 and 18 July 2011

Guardian Science Weekly Podcast: Science fiction, and the age of astronomy

Author of The Sky's Dark Labyrinth Stuart Clark explores the early days of astronomy. Plus, Ian Sample discusses his explosive interview with Stephen Hawking, and we review a new science fiction exhibition. Presented by Alok Jha. - 23 May 2011


Guardian Science Weekly Podcast: The human era, and war without tears.

Have humans changed the Earth to such an extent, we have created a new geological era: the Anthropocene? Plus, the uses of neuroscience in war. Presented by Alok Jha. - 16 May 2011

Frederic Raphael
Photo: BBC

A Thousand Kisses

A new play by Oscar-winning writer Frederic Raphael about the Roman poet Catullus.

Gaius Catullus was one of the the greatest Roman lyric poets - who lived fast and died young. Prized by some for his sincerity and chastised by others for crudeness he has influenced generations of writers and thinkers from Ovid, Horace and Virgil to Thornton Wilder and Louis MacNiece.

In this new play, Catullus's mysterious world is brought to life, drawing on a series of love poems at the centre of his oeuvre - based on evidence that the woman in the poems ('Lesbia') was Claudia Metelli, the sister of the notorious senator Publius Clodius Pulcher, and one of the most notorious and attractive women in Rome.

A Thousand Kisses features Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey) as the spirited young poet who moves to Rome in search of the high life and falls for the beautiful and sophisticated Clodia (Raquel Cassidy), the wife of a powerful Roman aristocrat.

Narrated by Geoffrey Palmer and weaving Raphael's own translations of Catullus's poetry into the drama, A Thousand Kisses imagines the complex love affair and Catullus's life as a rebellious young poet in the late Roman Republic of Cicero, Pompey and Caesar (Malcolm Sinclair).

Producer: Jo Wheeler
Director: Pete Atkin

BBC Radio 3: 10 April 2011

"Rolls Royce drama.... a treat"


Guardian podcast: The securitisation of aid

Are military priorities distorting aid budgets? A panel of experts discuss the relationship between the UK's development budget and the country's foreign policy objectives. Presented by Madeleine Bunting. - February 2011


Minimum Wage Guardian Podcast

Jon Henley presented this Guardian podcast looking at the Minimum wage. - October 2010

Horizon of planet Earth from space

One Planet, 2050: An Earth Odyssey

BBC environment correspondent Richard Black explores some of the possible solutions to big environmental issues the planet faces over the next four decades.

In part one - how large scale geoengineering might affect the climate. Speaking to scientists developing ways to reduce CO2 or global warming using large scale technology, Black asks whether we could expect a future where huge mirrors in space, or artificial cloud whitening will help tackle climate change.

By 2050 its predicted there will be over 9 billion people on the earth. In part two Richard explores some of the biggest advances in fish farming and looks at its likely future as a way to feed the planet, and in the final part looks at the economic schemes being proposed to help save threatened biodiversity, by putting a monetary value on our natural resources.

BBC World Service:
20 December - 3 January 2010

Play Part 1. Play Part 2. Play Part 3.
Piers Lane and Frederic Chopin 1849
Clive Barda / BBC

Chopin 200. The Essay.

Pianist and broadcaster Piers Lane presented this series of essays looking at five aspects of Chopin's life and music to celebrate two hundred years since the composer's birth.

Drawing on extracts from the composer's own writing, scores and those who have written about him over the past two hundred years Piers took a personal looks at the myths, interpretations and veneration surrounding one of the most universally adored pianist/composers.

The essays explore how, despite being labelled as the archetypal Romantic pianist, Chopin resisted the label throughout his life. He will also look at how the composer innovated form and style on the piano, the instrument on which he focused so exclusively; Chopin's often overlooked role as one of the most sought after teachers in Paris; his composing process, interpretations of his music; and the veneration from audiences and other composers that has always surrounded him.

BBC Radio 3: 1-5 March 2010

Visit the Official Piers Lane website